‘Killing Two Birds with One Stone’: Using Rubrics to Make the Grading and Assessment of Political Science Capstones Easier

42 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2010

See all articles by Jan Hardt

Jan Hardt

University of Central Oklahoma


In many academic departments around the country, the “a” word can be a dirty one, whether it is in a political science department or not. While there are some colleagues who recognize the benefits of assessment – that “a” word – there are still others who ask, “Why is assessment necessary? Won’t grades do the same thing?” In academic departments, it is important to recognize that these divisions about assessment can exist. If we truly want entire departments to buy into assessment, it can be beneficial for those who believe in it to make other colleagues not only see the benefits of assessment, but to show how assessment can be easily woven into the curriculum and courses. By doing this, no longer does assessment have to be done twice – once to teach/grade the class and the other for assessment. But in order to accomplish this, political science departments should invest in rubrics, or grading sheets, so they cannot only achieve their teaching and curricular goals, but also make assessment and grading as easy as possible. This essay demonstrates one such plan by looking at how assessment and grading with rubrics were embedded into two different aspects of the political science curriculum, the undergraduate capstone course and the capstone aspects of the graduate program. This essay blends together three separate areas of scholarly work in political science: assessment, capstones, and grading rubrics

Keywords: Assessment

Suggested Citation

Hardt, Jan, ‘Killing Two Birds with One Stone’: Using Rubrics to Make the Grading and Assessment of Political Science Capstones Easier. APSA 2010 Teaching & Learning Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1555928 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1555928

Jan Hardt (Contact Author)

University of Central Oklahoma ( email )

100 North University Drive
Edmond, OK 73034
United States

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